Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Literary Festival announce first speakers

GYLES BRANDRETH is among the first speakers to be announced for this year?s Henley Literary Festival

GYLES BRANDRETH is among the first speakers to be announced for this year?s Henley Literary Festival.

The former MP, who is a regular on Radio 4 and The One Show, returns for the first time since a sell-out appearance in 2012.

Also on the bill is Caroline Lucas, who will reflect on her time as leader of the Green Party and her experience of being its sole MP.

Thriller writer Steve ?S J? Watson, whose debut Before I Go To Sleep was turned into a film with Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, will be discussing his follow-up Second Life.

He will appear alongside Paula Hawkins, who last month topped both the UK and US fiction charts with The Girl On The Train, and MC Beaton, author of 30 Hamish Macbeth novels and the Agatha Raisin stories.

The ninth annual festival will run from September 28 to October 4 at venues across the town and will feature about 150 talks and interviews with well-known figures from the worlds of literature, sport, politics and entertainment as well as events for children.

Investment management firm Baillie Gifford has agreed to be the headline sponsor for the next three years.

Harriet Reed, the festival?s events director, said: ?Baillie Gifford is passionate about the kind of events we put on and their support allows us to keep tickets prices the same.?

Michelle McLeod, events manager for Baillie Gifford, added: ?We are really looking forward to stepping up our involvement with the festival.

?The quality and variety of the programme provides for top-class entertainment and the wide range of events has something for everyone.?

Laithwaite?s Wine, which has been the main sponsor for the last three years, will be the wine sponsor.

Last year?s festival broke attendance records for the second year in a row. More than 16,000 tickets were sold for the week-long event, about 2,000 more than in 2013.

Other names will revealed over the coming months and tickets will go on sale in July.

For more information, visit www.henleyliteraryfesival.co.uk

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